The organizers of the French Open 2020 recently decided to allow fans to attend matches. Now, the ongoing Italian Open 2020 will replicate that this weekend. The Italian Open will have upto 1,000 spectators in the stadiums for the semi-finals and finals of the event.
The Italian Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, made the announcement on Friday. This is another step in the gradual re-introduction of fans to tennis events in Europe during the clay-court season.
Spadafora said that rules are in place for social distancing, wearing masks, and more.
“Finally, starting from the semifinals and finals of the International Tennis Championships, a thousand spectators will be able to attend all the sporting competitions that will be held outdoors. And that will scrupulously respect the rules provided for spacing, masks, seat reservations,” Spadafora said in his statement.
“A first, but significant step towards the return, hopefully soon, to normality in sport. I hope that all the necessary actions will be carried out more quickly to make the decision immediately applicable,” he added.
Minister Spadafora explained how they made the decision. “From the discussion with the representatives of my offices, the conditions emerged for a further study of the issues concerning the sports world and for sharing our point of view. With regard to the need not to differentiate between cultural events and sporting events. It is emphasized in the note,” he explained.
The French Open reduced the number of fans allowed for the event, to 5000. Earlier, the event planned to host up to 11,500 fans daily for the matches. This included up to 5,000 fans in ‘zones’ around Court Philippe Chatrier and Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The remaining 1,500 fans in the zone on Court Simonne-Mathieu. They canceled these plans due to constantly rising cases of coronavirus in Paris.
The Italian Open is the first major tournament to have fans since the restart. The US Open 2020 was a closed-doors event.